Mater hospitals final step to close Gladstone ward
STAFF at Gladstone's Mater Hospital have taken a final step following Tuesday's closure of their maternity ward, holding a liturgy at the centre yesterday.
The Catholic service was a ritualisation of letting go and aimed to help people come to peace with the closure.
Sister of Mercy Maria Jean said it was an opportunity to give thanks for all the positive work that had come from the maternity ward.
"Even though we're sad, the idea of the liturgy was to celebrate all the good that has been done here," she said.
"It's acknowledging the fact that staff are sad and we on the executive are sad, that this (the closure) has to come but we have to acknowledge that it's not all negative.
"Great work has been done here and we have to celebrate all these lives that have been brought into the world through this facility."
Since its first baby on April 14, 1999, Gladstone's Mater Hospital has delivered 4651 babies.
Executive officer director of nurses Sue Thurbon said it was a sad time for the doctors and midwives.
"Of course with closing anything, everybody has some form of grief to go through," she said.
"It's a sad time for everybody but we see today as the rebirth and we're looking towards honouring everyone who's worked here."
Sister Maria Jean said she hoped the liturgy provided staff the "strength and inner peace to move forward".